I have a teeny little feeling in the pit of my stomach tonight. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt anything quite like it so it’s very difficult to describe but I am 100% positive that it is related to the fact that I dropped my boys off at summer camp today. I’m so excited for them and, despite feeling as if I might vomit at any moment, I know that they are in for a life-changing two weeks at Sanborn Western Camps. From the moment we arrived at their cabins both boys were swarmed by fellow cabin-mates curious to know their names and where they were from. The counselors introduced themselves with a handshake and helped them in with their gear. It’s all a bit of a blur. Well, except for the part where the kid and parent are supposed to embrace in the most desperate of hugs and promise to miss each other and write every day. Or maybe it was just a nice long hug and wave as they watched me drive away.
Pretty sure it never happened. In fact, it did not happen. Neither version happened.
I knew both boys would be fine, that there would be no tears. I’m a huge advocate of summer camp, a good portion of my work is now centered around summer camps and both boys have been quite excited about being able to head off on their own for the first time. My eldest is a bit miffed that he’ll be gone over his birthday but you’d never know he’d even given it a though by the way he brushed me off as I tried to hug him goodbye. I wasn’t prepared for him to not want to hug me goodbye!
I even said to him, “Let me hug you in here so I don’t have to embarrass you outside with my mama love.”
“Mooooom,” he said as he turned away from me and headed out the door to hang with his new crew.
Too cool for even a secret farewell on his very first time at sleep-away camp? I’m swelling with pride and swallowing tears at the same time. How on earth did my sensitive, feeling, lovey guy suddenly become so grown up??
Henry’s cabin had been our first stop and he had been so darn “Happy Henry” that he literally plopped his things down, claimed a bed (not a shock that it happened to be in the center of the room), hopped up on it and lay back all settled as if he’d been there a million times before. This is my happy guy and exactly how I expected it. I even got a quick distracted hug as he ran off to be with his new friends.
My boys are in a spectacular setting at one of the best camps in the country with camp professionals that I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know very well since their involvement with a program MomActive streamed live on MomTV last spring. I joke with Ariella that fate brought us together but this is no joke, friends! I know this, not just because Ariella has directly impacted my personal and professional world in more ways than could ever be expressed in one post, but because she was there today and she hugged me. She hugged me hello and she hugged me goodbye. We ate lunch, fed horses, and chatted up the goats, and she hugged me goodbye. In fact, she may have hugged me goodbye twice. She was my surrogate hugger. Tell me that’s not fate.
The reality is, I know that my boys are safe. I know they are well. I also know that I miss them more than they miss me right now! I sure am glad that Baby Bear didn’t get invited to summer camp. I wonder if Henry knows that I’m taking very good care of Baby Bear and making sure he doesn’t get lonely? *sniff*